The Rural Schools Write Read Inspire Project is an educational initiative aimed at enhancing literacy skills and creativity in Shropshire’s small rural schools.

It was first founded in 2018 by award-winning children’s author Lorna McCann in partnership with The Rural Charity and support from Team Author UK. Since then it has continued to operate with the support of private funding from local businesses and organisations.

Each year, as part of the project, eligible schools are given the opportunity to receive either a fully-funded or heavily subsidised author visit and experience storytelling sessions and creative workshops linked to books.

Sessions are delivered by Lorna and other experienced and talented authors and storytellers.



Our vision through the Rural Schools Write, Read, Inspire Project is to support and enhance literacy and creative skills among children in small, rural schools by providing opportunities and experiences which might not otherwise be accessible due to funding limitations.

With literacy high on the agenda in all schools but particularly at primary level, a visit from an author can provide so many benefits to pupils including improving literacy, inspiring reluctant readers, building confidence and broadening knowledge of literacy.

This project aims to provide such opportunities in small schools through a network of partnerships.

To find out more you can see the project live in action here:

Project Success

Children involved in the project have enjoyed storytelling sessions, role play activities and creative workshops linked to books. They have also learned about the processes involved in writing and publishing a book in a fun and engaging way. Pupils have also had the opportunity to use their imaginations and be an author/illustrator for the day creating short stories and book covers.

Here’s what teachers and pupils have said:

“A Fantastic morning. Highly recommended and inspiring for everyone – even the grown-ups!”

Key Stage 1 Teacher

“What a fantastic morning. All of the children were enthralled and engaged. They loved developing their story and adding their ideas.”

Key Stage 1 Teacher

“The whole morning was great. The children were unbelievably engaged and motivated. Lorna was brilliant with the children too.”

Key Stage 1 Teacher

“It was awesome because I got to design a front cover to a book of my own.”

Year One Pupil

How to apply

Schools interested in taking part in the project must meet the following criteria:

  • Be located in the county of Shropshire
  • Have 200 pupils or less across the entire school
  • Ideally will have not received a visit from an author within the last 12 months but this is not essential
  • Be able to timetable a two-hour author visit (inclusive of breaks) during the school day.

If your school meets the above criteria, please contact for further information.